It’s no secret that employee recognition awards in the workplace are a necessary tool for staff morale and motivation. Says the professionals at EDCO.com, a business awards company, service awards for employees go far deeper than receiving just a simple gift like a coffee cup, a trinket, or a gift card. It’s all about making an employee feel valued and respected. To do that, you need the right personalized award wording and the right appreciative approach.
But what about people who work at non-traditional, more freelance based occupations, like freelance writing, or even gaming for money? Are there awards that can provide the non-traditional worker with the motivation he or she needs to keep going when the going gets tough and even to improve their game?
As for the latter occupation, gaming for money, there are numerous awards that are issued each year both for players and developers. Is the significance of these awards of great value? Or are they overstated? According to a recent report by an industry insider at Games Industry.Biz, when the Game Awards time rolls around, so too does the industry insider chit-chat.
The insider goes on to say that having to assist in organizing around 50 video game awards thus far in his career, which include the GI 100, Women in Games Awards, Best Places to Work Awards, MCV Awards, 30 under 30, plus the Games Media Awards, he doesn’t really enjoy his time working on awards.
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The Spectator’s And Organizer’s POV
From the point of view of a spectator, award ceremonies almost always run far too long, despite gallant efforts by the team to shorten their duration. From the organizer’s POV, formal awards and award ceremonies are the one event where more folks are going to be leaving disappointed than satisfied.
If there’s one thing everyone in attendance has in common, it’s that they always have an opinion on how the awards were judged. It doesn’t seem to matter what award or awards are targeted, there are always disgruntled people who will lob criticism at how they were decided. The hard truth is that often times, they are right.
Video Game Awards Are Not Perfect
Says the Games Industry.Biz insider, there simply is no perfect process for judging awards. He is said to know of one senior games executive who has become majorly critical of the BAFTAs, for instance. It’s been argued that they are far too subjective in the selection process. That’s because it’s not judged by the people who matter most. That is, the players. This stands in direct contracts to the Golden Joystick Awards which are chosen by the fans.
Recently a BAFTA panel convened to make a final decision on an award. It turned out to be a tough one. The game that ended up winning did so only by a single vote. Two games were tied for second place. The winning game was said to be a “brilliant horror game.” That said, had a different journalist who abhorred horror games been included on the judge’s panel, the outcome might have been far different. The winner would have been someone else.
The Populist Approach is Also Flawed
All this said, the populist approach to gaming awards is also said to be flawed. In particular, the niche categories can be problematic. Recently, Assassin’s Creed Liberation that boasted a good score of 7/10, snagged the Best Handheld Game at the Golden Joysticks Awards. It just happened to beat several very good 3DS titles that included Fire Emblem Awakening, another popular contender.
What’s the reason behind the Assassin’s Creed win? The organizer of the event allegedly attested that the public simply liked Assassin’s Creed better at that moment in time, and that’s why they voted for it. In a word, the game was on a timely roll. It’s also been speculated that these same fans had yet to play or, at the very least, learn to appreciate Fire Emblem Awakening quite yet. Therefore “Creed” won out.
Creating a Middle Option
These days, many awards organizers attempt to counter issues in award selection by creating a “middle option.” This means they combine the two methods of voting. Perhaps the panel style voting makes up 50 percent of the score, and the fans take up the other half. This is how Eurovision is said to work.
Another more common compromise is to get maybe 100 media professionals and gaming experts to vote. You won’t get the panel debating that typically goes on in the BAFTAs because there’s too few for it to a true populist selection, but there’s too many for the award choices to be considered subjective. If that’s the case, you can end up with the worst of both worlds: a gaming awards ceremony that’s both subjective and populist.
In the end, there seems to be no way to create a perfect awards system. There are always going to be flaws. Some gamers and developers will look at awards as the absolute judgement on the overall quality and playing experience of games. But for others, it’s just one way of looking at the potential value of a game.
As with awards in any field of endeavor be it fiction writing or accounting, there will always be losers who don’t deserve to lose and winners who should not have won.
Joel is a whiz with computers. When he was just a youngster, he hacked into the school's computer system and changed all of the grades. He got away with it too - until he was caught by the vice-principal! Joel loves being involved in charities. He volunteers his time at the local soup kitchen and helps out at animal shelters whenever he can. He's a kind-hearted soul who just wants to make the world a better place.